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How To Remove a Tree Stump
How To Remove a Tree Stump

How To  > 

How To Remove a Tree Stump

The quickest & easiest way to remove a tree stump is with a stump grinder. Find out how to use these machines here.

  • Remove It Manually. Dig around the whole tree stump, and loosen and remove any earth to expose the tree roots. You will have to sever all of the roots and continue to dig and remove materials until you reach the taproot. Once you reach the taproot, clear the area around it and sever it. You can now prise the stump out of the earth. Removing a tree stump manually can be hard work, and can take up to 12 hours.
  • Remove It With Chemicals. Use a chainsaw or reciprocating saw to remove as much of the stump as possible. Drill holes as deep as you can into the stump, then fill them with water and add your chemicals. Soak the surrounding ground with water, cover the area with a waterproof tarp or binbags to trap the moisture, and weigh it down. Check on the progress regularly, adding more water and chemicals, and removing bits of the stump as it decays. Removing a tree stump with chemicals is inexpensive, but it can take years.
  • Burn the Stump. Drill holes as deep as you can into the stump, then fill them with powdered tree stump removal products to make it more porous. Pour a flammable liquid into the holes and allow it to soak it, then ignite the stump. Watch it carefully until it smoulders, then you can dampen the flames if you need to. Removing a tree stump by burning it can be dangerous, and you might require a waste exemption from the government, such as a D7 exemption. You might not be permitted to do this where you live.
  • Contract a Stump Removal Professional. Some companies and contractors will remove your tree stump for you. However, depending on the variables, this could be expensive. You could also end up with contractor without experience or qualifications, or you might struggle to find an available service in your area - if you live in an urban, or built-up location.
  • Remove It With a Tree Stump Grinder. Read on to find out more about this process.

Tree stump removal can be labour intensive, time consuming, dangerous, and expensive. The Guardian's Alys Fowler recommends using a tree stump grinder to remove a tree stump - and we agree, so we are going to tell you all about how you can use one of these machines yourself to get rid of tree stumps.

What is a Tree Stump Grinder?

Tree stump grinders are powerful machines, mounted on wheels, with a petrol engine and a hard-wearing rotating chisel blade. The blade rotates quickly to grind away at the tree stump and turn it into fine wood chippings.

Stump grinders can make easy work of removing large and stubborn tree stumps, so they provide a much more efficient and less laborious way of removing a tree stump than trying to do it manually.

How to Use a Tree Stump Grinder

When using a tree stump grinder to remove tree stumps from the ground, you should first tackle the roots.

Wheel the machine in place so that the blade is in position over an exposed root, start up the engine and begin by grinding across the roots in a steady sweeping action from left to right and back again. You should angle the machine so that it grinds 1” down from the top of the roots on each pass, each time sweeping back across the root at 1” lower than the previous pass.

Once the roots have been cleared, you can then tackle the stump.

Approach the stump the same way you approached the roots. Sweeping across the trunk, you should grind around 1.5” down on each pass. As the stump is chipped down, you can wheel the machine forward to tackle further into the stump. Once the stump has been chipped down to ground level, you can even tilt the machine downwards to grind down below ground level and completely remove the stump.

As you remove a tree stump, a lot of wood chippings will be created by the machine. Stump grinders feature chip deflectors which help to prevent the wood chips from flying everywhere - so you will be left with a pile of wood chippings to deal with afterwards.

Stump Grinder Safety

Our tree stump grinders are fitted with chip deflectors which prevent the wood chips flying around and causing injury.

However, you must wear full safety equipment when using a tree stump grinder to minimise the risk of injury whilst using the machine. This includes a hard hat and face visor, heavy-duty gloves, work boots and ear defenders.

Tree stump grinders are powerful pieces of equipment - you must take in all advice given, read the instruction manual carefully and only use the stump grinder if you feel confident enough to do so.

Why Do I Need to Remove Tree Stumps?

Leaving tree stumps in the ground after a tree has been felled can lead to problems with 'suckering' - where new shoots sprout from the trunk and roots. While you may have cut the tree down, it is still very much alive and still growing in your garden.

If a stump is dead, it will not form suckers, but the stump can look very unattractive and out of place. The dead stump could also play host to root diseases such as honey fungus, so it is not worth taking that risk.

What Do I Do With the Wood chippings

Once you have removed the tree stump, you can use the chips left behind to fill in the hole. Or you can use them as mulch in other areas of the garden, you can clear them up using a vacuum/blower machine, or you can compost them.

Tree Stump Grinder Hire

Take a look at our tree stump grinders on our website for more information on these machines. You can contact our hire team via online live chat or telephone to further discuss our equipment, get a quote and to arrange a hire. Once you have booked a hire you can collect the machine from your local depot or we can deliver it to you.


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